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My watch collection #13 Venturo Skindiver

Venturo Skindiver with original box and papers

When Naoki and his Gruppo Gamma announced the Venturo Skindiver he immediately had my attention. As you might recall from previous posts, Gruppo Gamma was one of earliest experiences with mechanical watches and the Divemaster had left a big impression. Venturo is the sister brand, and actually reads ‘Venturo by Gruppo Gamma’. The two brands have a lot in common.

The Skindiver jumped on the, well – skindiver – trend which was so prevalent around 2020. I’m a big fan of the skindiver look and had already acquired two of them from Wolbrook the same year. A skindiver from Gruppo Gamma sounded like a dream to me since I’d given up the Divemaster much due to its size.

The Skindiver was a much more versatile 40mm body / 41mm bezel with 22mm lugs. The watch indeed felt very sleek on wrist with a curved body and short lugs. I got the fitted bracelet to go with it, but for a reason I can’t remember I mostly wore it on various straps as you can see in the pictures. I wonder why though, since the bracelet was fine quality and certainly looked good with the watch. I think it might’ve been the simple fact that it was a 22mm non-tapering bracelet and it just felt a bit too chunky for the watch..

Falling out of love with the Venturo Skindiver

Unfortunately, it didn’t take me too long to realise that I wasn’t perfectly happy with the watch. You don’t buy a watch just to be satisfied with it – you buy a watch to love it to bits, at least that’s my philosophy. My collection is large as it is and if I’m not in love with a watch then it doesn’t belong in my collection.

Why I didn’t love the Skindiver came down to a combination of factors, I believe. On the plus side it came from a brand I like and respect, it had a beautiful, unique case shape and great dimensions, a boxed crystal and the matt bezel material is something I’d love to see on more watches. But this wasn’t enough to outweigh the downsides:

  • The bezel was very stiff to turn. Too stiff for my liking
  • The date window was too small, almost unusable to tell the date
  • The face, and this is what it really came down to, felt toy-like

Yes. Toy-like is the best way I can describe it. Some watches are meant to be playful, even toy-like, but the Skindiver’s ethos was not that. I wanted a rugged tool watch. It was the sum of the white chapter ring, the plastic feel to the second hand and the neon yellow colouring of the lumed bits. This all together simply didn’t gel with me.And I really tried to make it work, because I really wanted to like this watch.

So I sold my Venturo Skindiver

It honestly felt like a failure, like I had let the watch down, when I finally decided to sell it. It was for sale over a year I think, and while it was for sale I would wear it and think ‘maybe i should keep it, it is a nice watch’ but always come to the same conclusion; that I can’t keep a watch unless I love it, for its perfections and imperfections. The imperfections of this watch bugged me. While I sometimes regret selling the Divemaster I don’t regret selling the Skindiver. This watch wasn’t for me.

Let’s just say that if the Skindiver would’ve replaced the yellow tints for white, gotten rid of the white chapter ring and used a metallic finish on the second hand, it would still be in my collection, and probably cherished and worn a lot.

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